13 Best Chicken Roost Ideas Your Chickens Will Flock To

Published: March 30, 2023

Four different colored chickens roosting on top of a metal chain link fence.
Credit: unsplash.com @bobbottman

Like most chicken owners, you want to provide your flock with the best living conditions. One way to do this is to gather the best chicken roost ideas and install a chicken roost in your coop.

Chicken roosts add a stylistic element to your coop and keep your chickens happy and healthy by providing a good vantage point for them in case of danger. It's also an excellent place for them to rest, sleep, and roost after a long day.

Who says your chicken roost should be an eyesore? Chicken roosts can be practical, created quickly, and add a stylistic element to any chicken coop. And lucky for you, this article will discuss the best chicken roost ideas that your chickens won't get enough of.

What are the best chicken roost ideas your chickens won't get enough of?

Here are some easy DIY ideas for the best chicken roost ideas your chickens are sure to love:

  1. Ladder

  2. Fences

  3. Swing

  4. The classic rustic tree branch

  5. PVC pipe chicken roost

  6. Roosting tree

  7. Nesting box

  8. Drying rack

  9. Window frames

  10. Wooden pallets

  11. Old furniture

  12. Wicker furniture

  13. Garden trellis

1) Ladder

Various chickens roosting on a wooden ladder leaning against a wall inside a chicken coop.
Credit: unsplash.com @dirtjoy

A ladder style chicken roost makes great chicken roosts and is easy to make.

To make your own chicken roost ladder, all you have to do is gather some wood slats together, make a few cuts here and there, and you can make a ladder perch in no time. 

Plus, it's perfect if you have a flock of chickens with various breeds, as a ladder roost offers different roosting levels for whatever height your chickens prefer.

2) Fences

A white rooster perched on a rustic wooden fence outside in a field.
Credit: pexels.com @sami-aksu

If you have chickens, you likely already have a fence up. Why not take advantage of it and use the tops of your fences as chicken roosts? These high perches offer plenty of room and stability for your chickens to roost.

If your fence is made of wire, use the fence posts.

A chicken roosting on top of a tall fence post outside in a field with the sun setting.
Credit: unsplash.com @mhammel

3) Swing

You can hang some ropes from the ceiling and make a swing for a space-saving chicken roost. This chicken perch is suitable for smaller chicken coops as you can place multiple throughout your coop without using any floor space. Your chickens will still have plenty of room to run around.

A swing can be made at home with wood and rope or bought at a farm store.

4) The classic rustic tree branch

Three white chickens, evenly spaced, standing on a rustic wooden tree branch in a chicken coop.
Credit: pexels.co @cottonbro

Tree branches make for perfect chicken roosting bars. They are great for any size chicken coop, depending on the branch size.

Go out and hunt for a unique tree branch. You can easily hang it from the ceiling of your chicken coop. Use rope, wire, or chains to ensure it's secure, and make sure the branch is thick enough to hold the weight of your chickens.

You'll want a branch thick enough to carry the weight of multiple chickens while choosing a thickness that fits your chicken's feet the best.

Tree branches are the most popular choice for chicken roosts because they cost nothing and are rough, so your chickens won't slip and fall. They also have a rustic style which looks great in any chicken coop.

5) PVC pipe chicken roost

Branches aren't the only material that makes for quality roosting bars. You can also use PVC pipe.

They're easily customizable and robust. However, the surface is smooth, which could cause your chickens to slip and fall. Be sure to add some extra texture for grip for your chickens.

This chicken roost idea is excellent for chicken coops of all sizes.

6) Roosting tree

Rather than hanging a single roosting bar, why not create the ultimate roosting perch with a roosting tree?

This chicken roost idea is perfect for larger chicken coops, as you can use several branches to create a tree-like structure.

Place a small tree in the coop, or build your chicken roost using nails and scrap wood.

7) Nesting box

A white chicken in its wooden nesting box with two other white chickens standing on the edge of the nesting box in a cage.
Credit: pexels.co @cottonbro

A nesting box is another excellent roost idea, providing a roosting spot and nesting boxes for chickens to lay their eggs.

A nesting box can double as a place where chickens lay their eggs and as a chicken roost.

8) Drying rack

Do you have a drying rack or clothes horse that you're no longer using? A clothes horse makes for another quality chicken roost.

Just make sure there is enough space for your chickens to settle, it's stable and won't tip over, and ensure that the roosting perches are strong enough to handle the weight of your flock.

9) Window frames

Window frames make for fantastic roosting perches. They provide a sturdy surface and enough room for a flock.

Either make your own from scraps of wood and a couple of nails, or find window panes that have been discarded and lean them on the wall of your coop.

10) Wooden pallets

A stack of wooden pallets in a warehouse.
Credit: unsplash.com @rhsupplies

Wooden pallets are another great chicken roosting idea. If you live on a farm, you likely already have some lying around that aren't being used. You might even find some lying on the side of the road. Lean them against the wall of your coop, and you'll be good to go.

Ensure no sharp objects like nails are exposed to protect your chickens when roosting on wooden pallets. An injured chicken is the last thing you'll want to deal with.

11) Old furniture

Got some old furniture lying around that you no longer use?

Put that beat-up cabinet in a chicken coop, pull out the drawers at different distances, and call it a day. You can also remove the drawers and install poles for perches.

12) Wicker furniture

A wicker chair with a folded black blanket in a plain white room with wooden floors.
Credit: unsplash.com @katsiajazwinska

Wicker furniture can also be transformed into chicken roosts.

You can repurpose old wicker furniture such as chairs and tables. Wicker furniture is already made of light and durable branch-like materials in a sturdy frame, making this an ideal option for your chickens to settle.

Take advantage of unused wicker furniture, or buy affordable wicker furniture from your local thrift store.

13) Garden trellis

If you're a gardener, get out those unused garden trellises and use them as shade for your chicken roosts.

Garden trellises come in all shapes, sizes, and materials, such as wood and wire. Create some natural shade so that your chickens can stay cool during the summers.


What is a chicken roost?

A chicken roost is a perch where chickens sleep, rest, and protect themselves from threats. This perch is essential to protecting chickens from predators and elements by elevating them and allowing them to keep elevated during thunderstorms, rain, and other conditions that put them at higher risk for attack.

Roosts can be made from many materials, such as poles, beams, branches, and metal pipes. The best roosts are constructed from a material that will be slip resistant and easy to clean so that droppings don't accumulate on the surface of the roost and create a haven for parasites.

Ideally, the roost should be placed toward the top of the coop but under sufficient protection from chilly weather.

Should baby chicks be given a place to perch?

Three small yellow chicks perched on top of a wooden chair, looking down with another one standing on the chair's seat, looking forward with a grey background.
Credit: pexels.com @amy-pointer

The simple act of providing baby chicks with a place to perch may seem inconsequential at first, but there are numerous benefits to be gained by doing so.

Perches cater to the chicks' instincts and allow them to roost, a crucial aspect of their development. By engaging in this behavior, roosting at a young age can improve their balance, strength, and coordination and establish a sense of security and comfort in their environment, ultimately leading to decreased aggression or anxiety.

Furthermore, perching helps prevent health issues from continuously touching the ground, such as developing illnesses from contaminated fecal matter.

Giving baby chicks a place to perch benefits their overall well-being and enforces proper hygiene within their habitat, ensuring they grow healthy and strong.

How much roosting space should chickens have?

Besides what you feed your chickens, providing adequate roosting space for chickens is essential to maintain their overall health and well-being. When determining the appropriate amount of roosting area, consider factors such as the size and type of your flock and their needs.

Generally, each chicken should have at least 10 inches of roosting space to ensure enough room to perch comfortably without feeling cramped. This allows them to stretch their wings, preen themselves, and maintain sufficient personal space to minimize the risk of aggression or competition among the birds. However, when sleeping or resting, especially in colder temperatures, they will often perch close together to keep warm.

Remember, a happy and relaxed chicken is healthier and more likely to produce high-quality eggs for your enjoyment.

What makes a good chicken roost?

The feet of a white chicken roosting on a rustic branch inside a chicken coop surrounded by other white chickens.
Credit: pexels.co @cottonbro

A good chicken roost should be constructed with the birds' well-being at the forefront. It should provide a secure spot for birds to sleep, rest, and spend the night.

The roost must be made from solid materials that can tolerate daily use. Including bars or other stabilizing pieces is wise, as it offers extra support for perching chickens.

Depending on the breed, a roost can be as low as one foot off the ground and as high as one foot from the ceiling. Observe your chickens and see if they can easily reach the roost, and adjust the height accordingly. You don't want it to be inaccessible.

It's also wise to create multiple roosts for each type of bird to help maintain order during sleep times. If more than one species are kept in the same coop, this practice also prevents jealous behavior from dominating hens or aggressive roosters from chasing other birds away.

Finally, adding regular cleaning sessions and periodic assessments of your roost setup keeps everyone healthy and content.

What can I use for a chicken roost?

Creating a comfortable and functional chicken roost is essential for your feathered friends to have a safe and cozy place to perch at night. One of the most popular materials used for a chicken roost is a 2x4 piece of lumber, which provides a stable and easy-to-grip surface for the birds.

Moreover, you can consider natural tree branches, which add rustic charm to your coop and more closely resemble the chickens' natural habitat. To prevent slipping and ensure comfort, choosing roosts with an appropriate diameter, typically between 2 and 4 inches wide, is essential.

By selecting a suitable material and size for your chicken roost, you'll offer a cozy resting spot for your flock and promote their overall health and happiness.

Do chickens need a ramp to their roost?

This is a common question among chicken owners. However, the answer is more complex than one might think since it largely depends on your chickens' breed, age, and physical conditions.

Chickens with strong wings and nimble legs (e.g., Leghorns) may find a jump to their roost quite effortless, while heavier breeds, older hens, or chickens that cannot fly (e.g., Silkies) might prefer a more accessible, less intimidating pathway like a ramp.

Additionally, chickens coping with arthritis or other mobility limitations benefit from a ramp leading to the roost. Providing a ramp also ensures that your entire flock can easily access the roost and prevent injuries, which could be crucial for their happiness and overall well-being.

Installing a ramp to a chicken roost is undoubtedly a helpful, if not necessary, addition to your coop that will enable all of your chickens to have a comfortable and enjoyable living environment.

Will chickens roost on a 2x4?

Wooden planks stacked on top of one another.
Credit: unsplash.com @alexjones

Yes. Chickens can, and often do, roost comfortably on 2x4s. However, positioning the 2x4 is crucial in providing the chickens with adequate support and security.

By positioning the wider, 4-inch side upwards, chickens gain a flat, broader surface to rest their feet. This positioning also helps them maintain warmth during colder months as they can easily settle down on the board, covering their feet to retain body heat.

Not only do chickens roost on 2x4s, but with the proper positioning, it can provide desirable roosting conditions for your feathered friends.

Which roosting perch idea stood out to you?

Keeping your chickens happy and healthy starts with providing them with the best chicken roosting arrangements possible.

The ideas presented in this article can be used for any size chicken coop, are stylish, simple, and will make any flock of chickens happy. With the proper planning, you can easily make these chic chicken roosts yourself and add an element of beauty to your coop at the same time.

But that's not all. Roosting perches in the coop offer a sense of safety that help your chickens rest well at night and provides protection from predators.

Creating a creative and safe perch for your feathered friends is a must-have task that offers many benefits.

So try out one or two roosts and enjoy giving them the perfect perch they deserve.

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